The block Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
TO THE EDITOR
Tragically, in February, Democrat Senators (44 including Tammy Baldwin) blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act protecting babies born alive after a botched abortion attempt.
It was a "cloture" vote, requiring 60 votes to end debate and proceed with the bill. The Republican majority (53 including Ron Johnson) voted in favor of the bill. The Democrat minority's failure to support it caused the vote to fall short.
This legislation is crucial to protecting the lives of babies who survive a late-term abortion procedure. Infants who survive the violence of abortion should be protected by law. Polls show that 77 percent of Americans support this legislation.
To kill or neglect a born-alive infant is infanticide, pure and simple, and must be condemned.
The Act would have provided that if a health care practitioner fails to comply, they could be fined, imprisoned for five years or less, or both. If they intentionally perform or attempt to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive, they'd be punished for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.
If there's a practitioner violation, the mother of a child born alive may not be prosecuted and in a civil action the mother may obtain appropriate relief.
It should come as no surprise that Ms. Baldwin voted NO to this bill that aims to prohibit a practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care for a child who survives an attempted abortion.
In 2015 she voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. She was not opposed to killing healthy unborn babies old enough to feel the pain of abortion.
In a debate last October, she strongly opposed ANY limitations on late-term abortions of healthy babies through the ninth month. (Wisconsin allows abortion through the 20th week).
She didn't vote at all in early 2018 for a vote on a late-term abortion bill (which provided exceptions for rape, incest or the endangerment of a woman) which would have banned abortions after roughly five months of pregnancy.
And she consistently votes FOR taxpayer funding of abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
It's time to be adults; take responsibility
TO THE EDITOR
In February, at the direction of Gov. Tony Evers, Wisconsin became the 21st state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance (soon afterward Maine became the 22nd).
The Climate Alliance is a pledge to meet the goals of the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 22-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This is none too ambitious, considering that recent climate reports give us roughly 11 years for meaningful action to avoid the worst-case consequences of climate change. For Wisconsin, though, it's a major step in the right direction.
A December Reuters/Ipsos poll reveals 72 percent national support for climate action. Extreme weather events, such as our current pre-spring flooding, are understandably eroding the doubts some have expressed as to the reality of human-caused climate change.
Among those who believe that climate change is happening, a whopping 83 percent want government to act to address the challenge, and 76 percent want to see action on the part of local governments.
One of the surest signs that we've reached a tipping point is the surge of climate activism on the part of youth. Friday, March 15 saw world-wide classroom walk-outs and demonstrations by young people who fully "get" the threat of climate change to their future. If politicians and officials are slow to make climate action a priority, youth are sounding the alarm.
A news photo from March 15 shows a young woman student holding a sign that reads, IF YOU DON'T ACT LIKE ADULTS, WE WILL. It's both sad and hopeful that such a crucial mission has to be taken up by our children. Fellow adults, do we really want to bear the guilt of having damaged the world these aware young people will inherit It's time to be responsible adults and pitch in.
Thomas R. Smith
TO THE EDITOR
Gov. Evers budget expands Medicaid but lawmakers have to agree.
The Walker administration's 2014 decision to refuse federal funds for Medicaid expansion resulted in over a $1 billion loss for Wisconsin, and fewer people insured.
In fact our state is the only state in the country to use the Affordable Care Act to expand its Medicaid program while turning down the additional federal dollars available through the law.
Historically, Wisconsin is a "donor state," getting less than 90 cents back for every dollar in federal taxes our residents pay. This rejection of Medicaid funds continues to make our taxpayers losers while other states gladly accept dollars that could be ours.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services found in 2014 nearly 63,000 participants lost their coverage that year through the Badger Care Plus program which administers Medicaid. If Wisconsin accepted the Medicaid expansion now - increasing the allowable threshold in the state from 100 percent of the federal poverty level to 138 percent - the number of childless adults and parents enrolled in BadgerCare Plus would grow an estimated 25 percent, or by about 70,000 people.
The Evers' administration says taking federal money for a Medicaid expansion would free up $320 million in state funding over the next two years which he wants to use for a number of health initiatives including Caring For Children with Disabilities.
Republican leaders remain opposed saying "Well what if the federal money goes away?" My response is funding has not gone away in five years and in the meantime we lost $1 billion dollars. Where is your fiscal responsibility to the people of Wisconsin?
These are not invisible people in our district who Medicaid expansion will help. Please see them. I urge you to contact your Republican Rep. Shannon Zimmerman to support the Medicaid expansion proposed in Gov. Evers budget. You can make a difference.
We can stop global warming
TO THE EDITOR
If huge snow and ice storms and severe cold weather occur, does it mean that there is no global warming? There is no human-caused climate change; Mother Nature cannot be manipulated, right?
It certainly feels that way this winter. But just because some of us have suffered through a particularly cold and snowy period doesn't negate the fact that our globe is warming as we continue to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1997. The National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) reports that the warming we've seen since the late 19th century is unprecedented over the last 1,000 years.
Perhaps even more important is that ocean temperatures are increasing at a rate of 0.12 degrees centigrade per decade. While this doesn't seem like much, this increase has a tremendous effect on climate because oceans cover approximately two-thirds of the earth's
As a result of this climate change, more severe weather in the form of torrential rains, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts and snow is occurring. Crops and livestock are being lost and ocean levels are rising.
Can we stop global warming? Yes, we need to reduce our increasing use of fossil fuels that are pumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. To this end, a bill in Congress, HR 763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, has been introduced on a bipartisan basis. Republicans and Democrats are working together. The bill calls for a fee on carbon with the resulting money being paid back to the citizens in the form of a dividend. When enacted, this bill will be beneficial for the economy and revenue neutral. A complete summary of the bill can be found at www.citizenclimatelobby.org/energy-inovation-act/.
It is time to act. Call your Rep. Sean Duffy 202-225-3365, our Sens. Baldwin 202-224-5653 and Johnson 202-224-5323 and urge them to support this legislation.